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Now Wait for Last Year

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  4,403 Ratings  ·  193 Reviews
Dr. Eric Sweetscent has problems. His planet is enmeshed in an unwinnable war. His wife is lethally addicted to a drug that whips its users helplessly back and forth across time -- and is hell-bent on making Eric suffer along with her. And Sweetscent's newest patient is not only the most important man on the embattled planet Earth but quite possibly the sickest. For ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published June 29th 1993 by Vintage (first published 1966)
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Ubik by Philip K. DickDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickA Scanner Darkly by Philip K. DickThe Man in the High Castle by Philip K. DickThe Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
Best of Philip K. Dick
18th out of 54 books — 332 voters
Grass by Sheri S. TepperParable of the Sower by Octavia E. ButlerThe Anubis Gates by Tim PowersThe Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry HarrisonThe Rookie by Scott Sigler
Most Under-rated Science Fiction
147th out of 1,163 books — 1,435 voters

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Community Reviews

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Glenn Russell
Jun 02, 2015 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing

Welcome to the science fiction world of Philip K. Dick’s 1966 novel, Now Wait for Last Year. We are plunged into the teeth of a mid-21st century interplanetary war: Lillistar, (human-like beings with superhuman strength) vs reggs (human-size semi-mechanical bugs) and Terra (Planet Earth) as a potential big player in the outer space battles. Main characters feature Kathy Sweetscent, who occupies a key upper-echelon post at TF&D, a San Diego based company manufacturing wiring for interplanetar
Apr 22, 2015 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
"Life is composed of reality configurations so constituted. To abandon her would be to say, I can't endure reality as such. I have to have uniquely special easier conditions."

- Philip K. Dick (in Now Wait for Last Year)


This is a book for married couples (having difficulties), suicides, drug addicts, politicians, and time travelers -- and it just happens to be one of my favorite PKD novels ever (although ever with Philip Kindred Dick is always a fluid thing).

'Now Wait for Last Year' is something
Kat  Hooper
Dec 21, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Earth is allied with the planet Lilistar against the alien Reegs. Gino Molinari, the leader of Earth’s forces, has just hired Eric Sweetscent as his personal physician. For his new job, Eric has to leave his wife Kathy, who has just become addicted to a new hallucinogenic drug. Eric is glad to leave, though, because he and Kathy aren’t getting along.

When Eric arrives at Gino Molinari’s side, he finds that the man has some strange health issues. At first Er
It's a strange feeling when you think you have an author pegged and then they go ahead and publish something straight out of left field. It's like Michael Jordan playing baseball, Lou Reed making a record with Metallica, or Michael Bay directing a Victorian drama. It just seems odd, like you've awakened in a world that is not entirely yours any more. This was entirely my feeling for the first hundred pages or so of Dick's Now Wait for Last Year, the third entry in his Library of America collecti ...more
Aug 17, 2011 Sandy rated it it was amazing
A virtual compendium of many of Philip K. Dick's pet themes, tropes and obsessions, "Now Wait For Last Year," the author's 17th published sci-fi novel, originally appeared as a Doubleday hardcover in 1966. (As revealed in Lawrence Sutin's biography on Dick, the novel was actually written as early as 1963 and rewritten two years later.) Phil was on some kind of a roll at this point in his career, having recently come out with the masterpieces "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" and "Dr. ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Dick's misogyny is at full-bore here (PKD's works are so bound up in his own life and experiences that it helps, if you plan to read a considerable amount of his work, to get hold of a good biography like Lawrence Sutin's Divine Invasions and try and correlate the themes and issues in his books with what was going on in his rather messy and chaotic life at the time). So are his explorations of the nature of reality and time, the effects of weird drugs and his deep engagement with ethics, ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've spent a day, basically, trying to determine what I make of this one. I read a lot of Philip K. Dick when I was in my late teens, and I specifically remember trying to read this one twice - and giving up before I got very far in at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure video evidence exists of me reading this book at community college. This time, more than a decade later, I decided to try it again as one of Brilliance Audio's rapidly-expanding range of PKD audiobooks - and although I finished it, ...more
Janelle Dazzlepants
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dave Lefevre
This isn't one of my favourite PKD works. In fact, I believe this is the 2nd time I have read it and the first time it made little or no impression on me.

There are a lot of problems in this one. One of the criticisms of PKD's overall body of work is his trouble with female characters. The complaints range from that he simply doesn't do them well to that he is a total misogynist. This is probably because of characters like this book's Kathy Sweetscent. She has no redeeming features at all and rea
Cliff Jr.
May 17, 2016 Cliff Jr. rated it it was amazing
Classic PKD. It's got layers of political deception, parallel realities, drugs that raise metaphysical questions, and a narrator stuck in a bad marriage. Yep, that's PKD, for better or worse.

I enjoyed the narrative pretty consistently the whole way through, and it came to a meaningful crescendo at the end. It left me with a feeling a bit like I had at the end of Galactic Pot Healer: inspired to go on doing my best every day, because what else is there to do?
Charles Dee Mitchell
Feb 12, 2013 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it liked it
Shelves: mid-century-sf
I hate it when this happens. I try out a brand new hallucinogenic drug only to find out that it is addictive after a single use. Then, while suffering withdrawals, I'm offered help only if I agree to spy on my estranged husband who is now special physician to the ailing Sec. Gen of the United Nations, Gino Molinari. I take more of the drug to get me through the trip to the White House in Cheyenne, Wyoming, only to discover that the drug messes not only with my sense of time but with time itself. ...more
Dec 27, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
It is pretty remarkable that I can say that this is my least favorite Philip K. Dick novel of the six I've read, but still give it four stars. My primary criticism is that it just takes too long to get rolling. For the first few chapters, it was hard to get a feel for the novel or really know where it was headed. It was until about the 80 page mark that it started to really find its feet, and become another really good Philip K. Dick novel.

Now Wait for Last Year tells the story of Eric Sweetscen
Oct 17, 2015 Karel rated it liked it
Shelves: srzbznz
Having flirted with a few of Dick's books, I can see why he's one of the recommended authors for entertainment designers. He has got great, refreshing concepts that would make infusions of fresh blood in the industry.

What he isn't, I think, is a terrific storyteller.

Don't get me wrong - some of his books have really tight storytelling, with not a single piece of information left unused, like Scanner Darkly/Minority Report. This isn't one of it: it's split in the middle between a sci-fi politic
Jerry Brabenec
Jan 17, 2016 Jerry Brabenec rated it liked it
Philip K. Dick and John Lee Hooker are both very influential, instantly recognizable, and inimitable.

To me both seem to dispense with a lot of the craft and polish of their art. Hooker's playing is sloppy and he turns the beat around a lot. Dick writes some appalling phrases and sentences. Neither seems to vary the tone or pace of their art, they're kind of steady state.

But I keep going back to both of them, for the pure individuality as much as anything. Hooker is self contained and hypnotic, a
Carla Remy
Feb 21, 2013 Carla Remy rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I'm a big re-reader of books I like, but this is my first time re-reading PKD. Now Wait For Last Year was the first of his sci-fi books I read - oddly, I read two of his non-sci-fi "literature" novels first (Confessions of a Crap Artist was great, but then I came across Puttering About in a Small Land -is that the title?- which I found odd and oddly off-putting) so then it was some years before I read this- I was 30, I think, and I've since read an amazing amount of PKD books, considering it ...more
May 05, 2015 Badb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Puntuación? 3/3.5
JJ-180, uno de los personajes principales, una droga de efectos alarmantes.

La droga, cuyo origen es desconocido, además de su tremenda adicción, tiene increíbles propiedades consistentes en proyectar a su consumidor hacia el pasado y, en unas pocas ocasiones, hacia un futuro alternativo, pero desde donde se puede regresar una vez pasado el efecto y donde se puede cambiar ese presente, el de origen u otro nuevo

Conspiración, políticos que son capaces de todo por seguir en su car
Jul 13, 2015 Carmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questa volta Dick offre un romanzo sottilmente ironico tratteggiando una feroce parodia dei protagonisti della seconda guerra mondiale.
Il dittatore Benito Mussolini incarnato dal flaccido e irresponsabile Gino Molinari, mentre la Germania sotto il terzo Reich è rappresentata dai lilistariani.
Tutto questo diventa il solito pretesto per condannare l'utilizzo di droghe ed il conseguente distacco dalla realtà.
Geniali come al solito alcune intuizioni "futuristiche" come la rappresentazione della citt
David Anderson
May 29, 2014 David Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Suppose there was an hallucinogenic drug that allowed you to travel through time. Most travel into the past but a select few can travel into the future. But better than this, the drug allows some access to alternate realities, alternate universes, alternate space-time continuums with different histories. The only problem is this drug is highly addictive and highly toxic. Still, how might a savvy world leader use this drug to his advantage in an 3-way intergalactic war in which Terra seems to be ...more
Apr 29, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it
My favorite of the 7 PKD books I've read so far. Eric Sweetscent is easily one of his most likable, human characters, and you develop real respect and empathy for him as he jumps through dimensions, tries to save the planet, and justifies saving his marriage in the face of every reason not to. I really didn't expect a "love will save us all" story from Dick, given the nihilism of books like Martian Time Slip or Dr. Bloodmoney, but this may be as simple as that.
Feb 12, 2015 Denis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: softcover
It was a standard, possibly, forgettable PKD novel but worth a read. If you started with this one, just know that, as far as reading PKD's work, it gets better. This had all the right elements of but came off as typical.

And that's all I've got to say about that, yet I savoured every word while I read it.

Brandon Henke
Sep 30, 2015 Brandon Henke rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Thoroughly uninteresting characters and a plot that limps along. Neither time-traveling drug addicts nor alien politicking can save this novel from its nihilistic insufficiencies.
Ed [Redacted]
May 13, 2012 Ed [Redacted] rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Very good book. I will try to find time to write a more complete review in the next few days.

Dec 01, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
Oh-kay, so - to begin...

Now Wait for Last Year inspired a bit of an internal crisis for me - because I began to wonder whether I was a bad feminist. I've been reading a lot of Russian literature and Philip K. Dick and a lot of other misogynist, sexist stuffs. And I began to wonder, hey, is this stuff bothering me because I hate to see these conniving, ill-intentioned, terrible women in these novels... is that because I'm discomfited by women unless they're of a more positive cut? Supportive, kin
Erik Akre
Nov 18, 2016 Erik Akre rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers with a penchant for the psychotic or insane
Shelves: science-fiction
If you've never read Philip K. Dick before, and you've heard about his writing, and you've gotten curious, you simply must read him.

This book is a wild ride into painfully psychotic time warps, psychoactive drugs that rend reality, a grubby and disgusting 21st century setting, and sick, sick characters that will somehow endear. Set on a backdrop of interplanetary war, an unlikely protagonist does his best to navigate this bizarre, mind-bending world that Dick has created for him. How do we ever
Lonely Shikari
Dec 01, 2016 Lonely Shikari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Поразительно многогранный роман, в котором нашлось место и супружеским отношениям, и ксенофобии, и подробному описанию наркотических трипов и ломки, и привычным для Дика рассуждениям на тему параллельных миров и реальности, как таковой. Всё это в антураже галактической войны, которая показана с сугубо бюрократической и экономической точек зрения, происходит с ошеломляюще живыми, хитроумными и простодушными персонажами, и в итоге разражается общечеловеческим моральным комментарием к современному ...more
Oct 15, 2016 Riversue rated it really liked it
Dick is an original . His voice is unique. This story takes time travel to a new place at the centre of intergalactic war and deep inside a troubled marriage. Wonderful stuff.
Jack Stovold
Oct 25, 2012 Jack Stovold rated it it was amazing
My Philip K. Dick Project

Entry #28 - Now Wait For Last Year (written Dec. 1963, published May 1966)

From the back cover:


Now Wait For Last Year is one of Dick's funnest and most exciting novels yet, but also one of his most melancholy.

Tonally what excited me most about this story was its pulpiness, highly reminiscent of Dick's strange, early stories of adventure, with aliens, time travel, and the like. I mean, this is just kind of a coo
Ryan Middlebrook
Dec 16, 2015 Ryan Middlebrook rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: time travelers
Philip K. Dick has become well known for his books and short stories that have been turned into sci-fi movie blockbusters such as Minority Report, Total Recall, and maybe most famously Blade Runner. However this novel with its intragalactic war, time travel, and aliens will probably never be turned into a huge moneymaking movie. It’s because despite all the outward plot devices that seem ripe for action movie plunder, this book is about an internal war – a war about the depths of love and what ...more
Niall O'Conghaile
Sep 29, 2016 Niall O'Conghaile rated it really liked it
How hasn't this been made into a movie yet?!
Sep 27, 2016 Adam rated it it was amazing
Major climax at a gas station.
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Philip K. Di ...more
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“Human has always striven to retain the past, to keep it convincing; there's nothing wicked in that. Without it we have no continuity; we have only the moment. And, deprived of the past, the moment - the present - has little meaning, if any.” 19 likes
“...that thing that's taken refuge there in that zinc bucket, without a wife, a career, a conapt, or money or the possibility of encountering any of these, still persists. For reasons unknown to me its stake in existence is greater than mine.” 4 likes
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